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Babcock confident of Lidstrom's return

Monday, 05.10.2010 / 5:13 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Babcock confident of Lidstrom\'s return
DETROIT – While Nicklas Lidstrom was noncommittal when asked about his hockey-playing future Monday afternoon, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock sure sounded confident about the return of the team’s six-time Norris Trophy winner.

In his last address to the media before players and coaches went their separate ways Monday, Babcock said he's certain that the Wings’ captain will be back for a 19th season.

Lidstrom can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

“I went to Nick and said what do you want me to tell (the media)?” Babcock said. “Nick said, ‘Tell them that my wife and I are going to hang out for a couple weeks and talk about it.’ Nick will be back.”

When asked to elaborate on the short sentence that Babcock added at the end, he said he meant what he said, and he wouldn’t have said anything otherwise.
 
“I didn’t just meet him,” Babcock said in reference to Lidstrom. “I just think he’ll be back. I’m not one bit concerned about that. He’s got too much good hockey left in him, and I think if he believed we didn’t have a chance to win, he might be different. But I believe he’s like the rest of us, we think we’re going to be right back knocking on the door.”

Lidstrom did not reveal any new thoughts in regards to the decision he will make this summer. However, he did confirm that his 16-year-old son, Kevin, is enrolled in a school in Sweden, in case the family decides to return to Lidstrom’s homeland.

“He had to,” said Lidstrom of his son, who is finishing his sophomore year at Detroit Catholic Central High School. “If we’re moving back, he had to have a place to go.”

Lidstrom emphasized that his son’s enrollment was only a precaution, and should not be viewed as an early sign to his decision.

“It’s going to be a lot of different factors,” he said. “Family is going to be part of the decision, how I feel, motivation, it’s going to be those factors coming into play.”

Babcock wasn’t the only person in the Wings’ locker room to voice confidently that Lidstrom will return. Pavel Datsyuk, Lidstrom’s teammate of eight seasons, said he expects Lidstrom to continue playing, though not to the extent of former Wings defenseman Chris Chelios, who at 48, played in the AHL this season.

“I think Nick will be playing, for sure,” Datsyuk said. “How he plays, he can play more. I know he won’t play like Chelios, but two more years…I think he’s a top-five defenseman in the league now. And I’m happy to play with him.”
 


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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
R. Sheahan 81 14 11 -8 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80